10 brands that will disappear in 2010

Ten brands that will fail – starting with the dodo

In an article written by 24/7 Wall Street, there is a great article about the ten brands that will disappear in 2010.

Now for UK based businesses, they will not be as familiar with all of the ten brands but the lessons are pretty much the same for any dying brand you can think of the world over.

Adapt or die.

None of these have adapted fast enough, so they’re all dying.

Lets deal with each in turn

1. Newsweek

It’s printed news. The end.

The fact that you are reading this on a blog and I read the original article on another blog just goes to show that we are gathering most of our information online these days. It used to be that the credibility was offline in print, but that just isn’t the case anymore. There’s good stuff in both and crap in both too. The man problem is that advertising has followed the readership and not many of the old media barons have worked out how to monetize the new media platforms, because Google seems to own the space at present.

2. Motorola

I’m surprised it’s lasted this long really. Back in the mid 90’s I had an original Nokia Orange phone (that was in the days when they didn’t even have model numbers) and we needed two more mobiles, so we bought Motorola MR1’s (luggable rather than mobile) as they were half the price.

Big mistake.

Non functioning menus and useless interface. It was so hateful, I smashed it against the wall to give myself an excuse to buy another Nokia.

Any Motorolas I have seen since, seem just as bad.

3. Palm

Not since the Palm pilot and the shortlived ‘Pre’ have they had anything the market wants. When did they last produce anything innovative?

4. Borders

All a bit pointless. They stood for nothing and offered worse pricing than Amazon and less loveliness than Waterstones. They reminded me of how WH Smiths have been for the last ten years and I could never really think of any single occasion when I would need to go and buy from them. So I didn’t. It appears that few others did either.

5. Blockbuster

How have they survived this long against the marching digital army? If I want to watch a film, do I pay the same amount and watch it now on Virgin or Sky or drive down into the town and hire one, only to be bollocked for returning it late?

For a brilliant exchange of letters and emails between David Thorne and Blockbuster, have a read of this. It’s brilliant!

I’m sure we’ve all tried the monthly subscription thing where we can pick films and they send them to us, but it’s not actually that spontaneous is it? On a Monday, you can’t really say whether you’ll feel like a ‘romcom’ or a thriller on Friday night can you? Its a model that suits them and not us, so will never take off really big.

6. Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac

It’s named after a front bottom and a burger. Enough said.

7. Ambac

Never heard of it, sorry to see you go, It’s been a blast.

8. Eastman Kodak

To me, this is going to go down as the biggest brand ever to fail. They let the market swamp them by not seeing the digital revolution. They used to be innovators and now are in danger of being totally unknown by a new generation.

They have tried to move to digital products and even to printer paper, but the market just isn’t convinced.

I will be sad to see this go. But I will make a prediction. It will go bang and then someone will buy the name and after a few years, when they have shaken off the years of debt and structure problems, it will come back with some small innovative products that will take the market by storm. It is just too good a name to allow it to die forever. Give it ten years and it will be a force again.

9. Sun Microsystems

This isn’t one I can talk about with any authority, but for any brand to have the name of a type of computer that was superceded ten years ago seems to be a problem to me. Microsystems were the babies to replace mainframes in the 80’s weren’t they? So what relevance do they have now?

10. E*Trade

Again, I don’t know much about these other than they are some of the eejits who lent money to people who shouldn’t be getting it. Surely if they had no income and no way of repaying a loan, you shouldn’t lend them money?

Maybe this is a bit simplistic of me, but just because it has the word ‘E’ on the front of it, doesn’t make it a good business. They deserver all the failure they’re getting. Bye.


There’s no really surprises to me here. Bad businesses that haven’t evolved are failing.

I run a small design business and have done for over 18 years. It’s called Purple Circle. What we do know is very different to what we did then, because the market has changed massively. If I was still trying to sell pasted up artwork on bromide and magic marker visuals all round, do you think they’d still be buying?

No me neither.

So why have all these businesses assumed they could do the same?

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